Huang Kuan Statue – Edinburgh, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

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Huang Kuan Statue

The first Chinese student to graduate from a European university.  


For the more than two million people that visit Edinburgh every year, it’s an opportunity to explore the many historical sites the city has to offer. Others come for business, while some reunite with friends and family. There are also around 35,000 students who arrive in Edinburgh every year to attend the half dozen universities that make up a third of the city’s population.

Towards the end of the 19th-century, Huang Kuan, (Dr. Wong Fun) became the first Chinese student to graduate from a European University and the first doctor to be trained in a Western school. In 1855, he received his Ph.D. from Edinburgh University. Currently, Chinese students make up around 30 percent of the total number of students that attend the city’s institutes of higher education. 

Situated close to the grounds of Pollock Halls is a statue dedicated to Kuan, as well as one of the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius. This area is also home to The Confucius Institute. This group acts as a public educational partnership between various schools in China and their counterparts in other countries. They are financed in part by Hanban, which is associated with the Chinese Ministry of Education.

The Confucius Institute for Scotland is housed in a Baronial style manor known as the Abden House. This is only one of the more than 500 Confucius Institutes around the world. They offer a variety of classes and events throughout the year. These in turn help promote and strengthen the bond between both Scotland and China.

Know Before You Go

The exterior of Abden House and the two statues are accessible at all times. The interior is open Monday-Friday 10 a. m-6 p.m., closed on weekends. Call or email to gain admittance.

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January 15, 2021

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